Sunday, November 29, 2015

Another CLE race track's unsung hero, Conrad our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario.....

Conrad Trombelli was another unsung hero of our old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition racing days.  About a year ago I received an email from a young lady who was a friend of Conrad's son....sadly I can't find the specific email, but apparently his son had never seen photos of his father in his racing days.  I was able to put some pictures together and send them off to the delight of both his son and friend.  
It starts with a small photo taken from a 1953 program seen further below.  The media often misspelled Conrad's last name, so I corrected it here.  The drivers also posed with other driver's helmets for program photos, so I changed the number that was on Conrad's helmet to the correct number of his race car.  Here also is a typical racing advertisement in our local newspapers.

For those that don't remember, the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Race Track was located between Fort William Road, Northern Avenue and Memorial Ave.  In this photo, Northern Ave runs parallel to the bottom of the photo and Fort William Road is the street running vertical on the right hand side.  Memorial can be seen along the left and top of the photo along the line of trees.

Here's Conrad mixing it up on the backstretch.  The house across Northern Ave in this photos still exists today as shown in the next photo.  Click on all the photos to enlarge them.

The coupe that Conrad is driving is a 1932 Pontiac.  The photo below is how it would have looked before it was cut up for a stock those days, old cars were just scrap and many very rare and interesting cars were wrecked at the old CLE track.

The pictures and clippings in this post are from 1953 to 1955.  The program insert in the next photo show Conrad in the points race in 1953.  If you're old like me, you will recognize many of the other names on this list.

This one shows Trombelli's car stuck together with Merv Dove's #31.  That's Merv outside his car on the right.  Merv is still with us today and he and his wife Dolly lead a very active lifestyle.

This panorama photo shows the turn 1&2.  The barns in the background were quite close to the Coliseum building and the track, and many jalopies crashed through the fence and into some of those barns.  There are still many of the old buildings including the Coliseum and the Dorothy Dove building still within our fairgrounds.

The write-ups in these clippings were so well done in the day.  If you click once or twice on them, they can be enlarged enough to read.....take the time and enjoy them.

In the note below, My friend Al Yahn (my proof reader) Looked up addresses and names in the 1954, 1958 and 1962 Henderson Directory to find that the old Wes and Jerry's (Wes Inkster and Jerry Whittaker) White Rose station at 231 N. May Street was later owned by Conrad Trombelli and Mel Kompon in 1962.  Al also helps with research on this blog site (thanks Al...much appreciated).

Here is a racing line-up for the 1953 season.  Glen Kettering and Wally Prokosh were both mechanics, and Bob Harkness(the flagman) and Johnny Panvica were selling new and used cars all working for Jessiman Motors then.  Jessiman motors was located on the South/West corner of May and Bethune Street.  The 231 May Street address where Con's was and the old Jessiman Motors property are both vacant lots today.

The line-up above shows that Dominion Motors as Conrad Trombelli's Sponsor.  Below is a late 1940's or early 1950's photo of Dominion Motors as it was on May Street, and sadly how the property deteriorated and lost all it's flair over time in the photo below 

Conrad also drove a 1937 Pontiac Business Coupe shown here.

.....and this is how the '37 Pontiac looked done up for Conrad to race.

Another of Conrad's cars was a 1936 Pontiac 3-window coupe....a very beautiful and rare car in today's hot rod world.

.....and this is how it looked out at the old CLE track.

Here's one more photo of Conrad's '36 Pontiac 3W coupe mixing it up on the track with the boys of summer 1955.

I hope you enjoyed this post about another unsung hero from our old Canadian Lakehead Exhibition Days....The entertainment these guys gave was second to none.  All this was so heavily embedded in my childhood and teen years that I'm constantly compelled to bring you these stories for your entertainment.
These last two clips were added for your reading enjoyment.  Thanks for dropping by Hot Rods and Jalopies.

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